Hurricane Sandy, which dealt a heavy blow to New York City and portions of the eastern seaboard, spared Spectra Energy Corp. operations in the area, company officials said during a conference call with analysts Thursday morning.

Hurricane damage to Spectra compressor stations and ongoing construction projects was “nothing significant,” other than some flooded vehicles, according to CEO Greg Ebel. “We basically shut in or shut down operations early in the weekend…We saw no interruptions to any of our service.”

The status of the New Jersey-New York Expansion Project, a 20-mile expansion of the company’s Texas Eastern Transmission and Algonquin Gas Transmission interstate pipeline systems (see Daily GPI, May 23), was “concerning” as the storm approached, but it received minimal damage, Ebel said.

“Hurricane Sandy has certainly cost a few days of construction, but nothing substantial for a project of this size…where there was pipe that we were working, [we] backfilled the trenches, and we didn’t see any impact there.” Some construction will have to wait until electricity is back up in the area, he said.

When completed, the expansion will provide an additional 800 MMcf/d of capacity into the New Jersey-New York region, according to Houston-based Spectra, parent of Texas Eastern and Algonquin. The project remains on target to be in service in the fourth quarter of 2013, and the hurricane didn’t knock any other Spectra projects in the region off their schedules, Ebel said.

The company reported net income of $179 million (27 cents/share) for 3Q2012, compared with $254 million (39 cents/share) in 3Q2011. Quarterly earnings were “in line with company expectations, except for the effects of lower commodity prices,” according to Spectra. The company increased its quarterly dividend to 30.5 cents/share.

“Spectra Energy’s fee-based businesses continued to generate strong earnings and cash flows, helping to lessen the effects of lower commodity prices,” Ebel said. “Industry fundamentals and our commitment to delivering superior total shareholder return remain strong, as underlined by our action to increase the quarterly dividend, effective with the fourth quarter 2012 payment. Looking ahead, we remain confident in our ability to secure and deliver growth for our investors through realizing at least $20 billion in expansion projects by the end of the decade.”

Last week Spectra said it was selling a 38.76% interest in Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline LLC (M&N) to Spectra Energy Partners LP for $319 million in cash and $56 million in newly issued partnership units (see Daily GPI, Oct. 25). M&N owns a 338-mile mainline interstate natural gas pipeline that extends from the border of Canada near Baileyville, ME, to northeastern Massachusetts with delivery capability of 0.8 Bcf/d. The pipeline’s location and interconnects with Spectra’s transmission system link regional natural gas supplies to the Northeast United States and Atlantic Canadian markets.

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